Rafael Curruchiche: the relentless prosecutor who unleashes anger in Guatemala

by archynewsycom
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The headquarters of the Prosecutor’s Office has become the epicenter of the protests in Guatemala in recent weeks in defense of democracy. The protesters brand the attorney general of the Public Ministry, consuelo porrasand the head of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FECI), Rafael Curruchiche. The people who attend the marches do not forgive Curruchiche for being about to ruin the 653,000 votes that catapulted the Seed Movement to second place in the first round of the Guatemalan elections held on June 25. From his office came the request to the judge of the Seventh Court, Fredy Orellana, to order the suspension of the legal personality of Semilla. The judge accepted the petition and hours before the results of the elections were made official, he gave the Supreme Electoral Tribunal a period of 24 hours to will cancel the party, whose candidate, Bernardo Arévalo de León, aspires to the Presidency of the country in the second round of August 20. However, the Constitutional Court brought order and granted an injunction to Semilla, preventing the prosecutor’s request from coming true as it went against the Electoral and Political Parties Law.

Specifically, the head of the FECI has launched a case called ‘Seed Corruption’given that it considers that “there are indications that possibly more than 5,000 citizens were illegally attached to this political party by forging their handwriting and signature”. It also points out that “12 deceased people” were enrolled in the formation. The US, the European Union and the Organization of American States have already rejected the intention of jeopardizing democracy and the Rule of Law, although the prosecutor has not been intimidated and his Prosecutor’s Office has raided the TSE Citizens Registry on two occasions, while on July 23 he searched the headquarters of Semilla from where documentation was taken on its constitution process in 2018 .

Since Consuelo Porras was appointed head of the Prosecutor’s Office in 2018, some thirty prosecutors, judges and journalists have left the country after being investigated and persecuted, for which they denounce that they are in ‘exile’. Among them, the former head of the FECI, Juan Francisco Sandoval, who, at the time of being removed from office In July 2021, he was investigating the alleged link of a Russian plot with the president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei with an alleged carpet full of money in exchange for being able to control a seaport. Five arrest warrants have already been issued against Sandoval for Curruchiche investigations. One of them, for which even a judge has requested his extradition from the US, is related to the case that affects the president and founder of El Periódico, José Rubén Zamora, who has been in prison for a year and who was sentenced to six years in prison on June 14 for laundering money and other assets. The FECI appealed the sentence, since it requested against Zamora 40 years in prison for trying to dispose of 300,000 quetzales (37,500 euros) whose origin was illegal.

Curruchiche and his boss Consuelo Porras have also attacked the former attorney general, Thelma Aldana, who has been in “exile” from the US for more than three years, having five arrest warrants against him. Aldana denounces that she is fleeing “persecution” by the institution that she herself directed between 2014 and 2018, during which she investigated a multitude of corruption cases that affected, among others, the former president of Guatemala Otto Pérez Molina, in prison since September 2015. Aldana uncovered these cases at the hands of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a UN agency that operated in the country from 2007 to 2019 when former President Jimmy Morales decided not to renew his mandate. , due to several investigations against him for illegal electoral financing of his party FCN-Nación in the 2015 elections that he won.

Precisely, Curruchiche was directing the Electoral Crimes Prosecutor at that time, which was to investigate the formation of the former president, although the investigations stalled and the process came to nothing. This caused the then High Risk Judge D, Erika Aifán, to denounce him in 2019 for breach of duty, usurpation of functions and abuse of authority. This did not prevent Consuelo Porras from promoting him to head of the FECI and even Aifán resigned in March 2021 as a judge after 19 years of work and also went into “exile” from the US fleeing “persecutions, threats and harassment”. The digital newspaper El Faro published that the judge had a complaint in her office that revealed that, in 2009, when the current president of the country, Alejandro Giammattei, aspired to the Presidency, he negotiated with the then Minister of Communications, José Luis Benito, a contribution of 2.6 million dollars for his electoral campaign, in exchange for leaving the official in his post.

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